“Kids have their own sense of democracy,” says Boys & Girls Clubs of Dundee Township President and CEO Curt McReynolds. “Kids vote with their feet. If they like what they’re doing, they’ll come back. If they don’t, their feet will take them elsewhere,” he said.
Area kids are clearly enjoying their participation in the organization, as it ranks in the top five largest Boys & Girls Clubs in Illinois. And it’s about to grow again, as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dundee Township plans to open its eighth location at Sunny Hill Elementary School in Carpentersville later this month. “We’re excited,” McReynolds said. “This is our fourth new site in three years.” The Sunny Hill program site was made possible through a partnership between Barrington School District 220 and the Boys & Girls Club of Dundee Township. Sunny Hill Elementary School is the only school in District 220 that is located in Carpentersville.
The Boys & Girls Club of Dundee Township is also the first club in the state of Illinois to serve two separate school districts, “which is very cool,” McReynolds said. On Thursday, District 220 officials presented members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dundee Township a $50,000 check to help finance the program. The funding from District 220 is from federal dollars, not taxpayer funds, officials said. Now, Sunny Hill students in first through fifth grade can take advantage of the after school program that will include homework assistance, recreational activities, arts and crafts, and a snack. The club will be offered from 3:30 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“This is phenomenal,” said Principal Irma Bates. “I have 400 kids who are going to be delighted to have a safe place to go after school.” She said Sunny Hill staff is also excited. “They see this as such a positive,” she said. Brian Harris, superintendent of the Barrington 220 School District, thanked the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dundee Township “for providing an opportunity for our kids.” “We appreciate it and we look forward to the partnership,” he said.
A grand opening for the Sunny Hill Elementary School site is planned for 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28, as a Business After Hours event in conjunction with the Northern Kane County Chamber of Commerce. Businesses affiliated with the Chamber are invited to attend.